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formatDateTime expects type string and provided value is 'Null'


Thank you in advance for any help you can offer.  Here are some details about this flow:

  • In SharePoint Online, a Microsoft List was created from an Excel spreadsheet. There are 4 columns with Excel format of short date. In the Microsoft List, these 4 columns have Date and Time format. But after the list was created, these columns were edited and time was toggled off. Time of day is not necessary for the purpose of this flow.
  • In Power Automate, to reconcile the date format, each condition starts with this formula,

    (fx) formatDateTime(outputs('Get_item')?['body/field_Start_x0020_Date'],'MM-dd-yyyy')

    Is equal to

    (fx) formatDateTime(utcNow(),'MM-dd-yyyy')   

    These functions are accepted. The flow saves without an error.
  • When the flow runs, it fails with this error.  "Unable to process template language expressions for action 'Condition' at line '0' and column '0': 'The template language function 'formatDateTime' expects its first parameter to be of type string. The provided value is of type 'Null'."
  • After the error, I did check the Microsoft list and there are no empty fields in any of the 4 date columns.
  • Since the error says this is a new issue and suggests asking the Power Automate Community, I am posting this message. 

Hi there, 

Are you able to show us an output from your Get Item? 





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Thank you for your quick response.  Below you can see what the Get Items ask for.  The result would be ID which is unique for each item.  In previous Microsoft Lists that I created, the unique ID came first before my beginning column. I do not see it as an option in this List's Settings. Maybe Power Automate hides that ID now. So I do not have a way to show it to you. 



Could the formatDateTime issue be related to the 4 columns containing dates?  




Community Support
Community Support

Hi @Mel_P ,


Please try :


instead of



Best Regards,



I tried your suggestion and replaced the expression in each of the 4 conditions.  Result was the flow succeeded. Actually it failed, because each of the 4 conditions should result in email notifications being sent. For testing purposes, I have the notifications sent to my email address.  I received none. 

I will gladly try any other suggestions.  Really need to get this task notification flow working.

Thank you!

Hi @Mel_P :

Is it possible that the field name was entered incorrectly?

Have you considered using dynamic content directly? Cause the 'get item' action is not necessary , you could using dynamic content directly.


And then you could check the expression of the dynamic content:



Best Regards,



Thank you v-bofeng-msft

Your question about column name helped me resolve the first error. I had not noticed the space in between words Start and Date.  You are right, the expression did not match the column name which is in Camel Case format. I replaced the expression 

with this expression

But same error appeared until I hovered over the Dynamic Content and found StartDate is Field 4. So I used this expression


which resolved the flow error. But I still had no email notifications sent because each Condition's Expression result is False.


So I took your suggestion to replace the second Get Item step with Compose. Here is the revised flow




But the new error is similar and I do not know how to resolve it.  The error is 


The column AssigneeEmail contains email addresses of individual employees. Why is there an error when I used Dynamic Content in the Outlook 365 Send Email action?


Hi @Mel_P ,


Cause it is a person or group column instead of a single line of text column.

Please try:


instead of




Best Regards,



Dear Bof,

I appreciate your reply and willingness to provide expert answers. In the SharePoint list, I do not have person or group as option for column type. I selected "Choice" as the type for the "AssigneeEmail" column. 



I did take your suggestion to use the expressions in To and CC of email message.  The revised flow status is "Succeeded". But fails in zero results by sending no email notifications. There is a task with start date of today, 04/20/22. So one email notification should be sent if the action in the flow runs. Here are the steps of the flow in case I am missing something.








Hi @Mel_P ,


That is same to choice column. Please try




Best Regards,


I applied your suggestion for Column Choice to my flow.  Below is screen shot of what it looked like before suggestion.  I replaced dynamic content of ID with your suggested expression.



Below is screen shot of the error that resulted after using the suggestion.




Thanks! I tested it and it worked!

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